Vinko Kalcic is an internationally acclaimed artist based in London.
Born in Yugoslavia, he began drawing as a young child, creating colourful cartoon-like works inspired by comic books and fuelled by a vivid imagination. At eighteen he began to paint in the bold, frank style of Naïve Art and soon after sold his first painting. This was the beginning of a career that would take him across the world, exploring the many facets of Multimedia Art. He started his career as an Artist with successful exhibitions throughout Italy including in Milan, Rome, Turin, Venice, Udine, Trieste, Como etc. and later across Europe in Austria, Germany, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Ireland.
Formal education followed, primarily in Fine Art/Design but in later years his dedication to artistic and personal development would lead to studies in Multimedia, Digital Compositing for Film/Video in London’s Escape Studios and Creative Studies in Queen’s University, Belfast.
In 1991, the bloodiest conflict in Europe since the Second World War broke out in Yugoslavia. Vinko a passionate pacifist believing that the value of human life is so high that nothing can justify killing a person deliberately, he fled the country and found himself in Northern Ireland on friend’s invitation. There he forged quickly connections and friendships with many like-minded artists, most notably the renowned singer-songwriter Tommy Sands. Tommy’s compassionate nature and innate talent are matched only by his dedication to peace activism. Music, art and antiwar movement forged a beautiful friendship. Vinko had a chance and privilege to work with him on a number of music and peace projects.
Vinko became profoundly aware of the need for healing. His family history bore the deep personal wounds and of his family tragedy during the Second World War. That’s why the healing nature of Art is a concept that has echoed throughout Vinko’s work.
The opportunity to put this concept into action came with his involvement in a cross-community outreach project facilitated by the Northern Ireland Peace & Reconciliation Board. Working with Tom Newman, acclaimed producer/engineer of Mike Oldfield’s legendary Tubular Bells’. Vinko provided visuals (design/photography/video) for an exciting reworking of this masterpiece with around 800 segregated schoolchildren in number of schools across Northern Ireland. The idea was to give children the opportunity to unite re-creating this classic album and record in the classrooms. The album was called ‘Tubular Bells with children of Ireland’.
In 1996, using the powerful words of his friend Pete Seeger, Tommy Sands composed ‘The Music of Healing’, a plea for understanding and reconciliation that transcends borders and boundaries. The title of this piece of music inspired Vinko to call his Art ‘The Art of Healing’, leading to a series of artworks that explore the theme of healing that which is hurt and mending that which is broken.
Much like the ancient Japanese art of Kintsugi* which inspired me greatly with the philosophy.
The shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa is credited with the introduction of Kintsugi back in the 15th century. When a precious tea bowl was repaired with metal staples, he commissioned craftsmen repair the ugly damage with gold. The finished object was elevated beyond what it had once been. While it was more beautiful and more valuable, it also served as a compelling reminder that there is beauty in fragility and value in broken things. When we honour an object or a person for what they have experienced, we elevate them and in this process the healing works wonders.
Vinko’s art is on Word’s Leading Art Galleries